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Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center

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Lovell FHCC launches initiative to boost purchasing power for medical supplies

March 7, 2019

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Media Contact: Julie Ewart, 224-610-3138 or

Lovell FHCC launches initiative to boost purchasing power for medical supplies

Hospital’s integration of Defense program is next step of integration journey

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. – The purchasing power of Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center for medical/surgical supplies has received a boost, through a transition to the Department of Defense’s Medical Prime Vendor program, launched today at the hospital with leaders of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Defense Logistics Agency. The initiative further integrates VA and DOD processes at Lovell FHCC, which is the first and only federal health care center in the nation and has provided fully integrated healthcare to veterans alongside service members and their families since 2010.

“Over the next several months, we anticipate the FHCC will benefit from an expanded supply catalog and a reduction in the utilization of purchase cards,” said VA Deputy Secretary James Byrne, who participated in a ribbon-cutting with other VA, DLA and FHCC leaders and staff as well as Capt. James A. Lovell, former astronaut and retired Navy officer and the FHCC’s namesake.

“We also expect to be able to take advantage of the cost benefits leveraged through the expanded purchase power obtained from the DOD’s worldwide procurements,” said Captain Gregory Thier, deputy director and commanding officer of the FHCC, which has a blended staff of 3,100 VA employees and Navy personnel. The FHCC cares for more than 75,000 patients per year, including local veterans and Navy recruits attending boot camp at Naval Station Great Lakes.

The move to DLA’s Medical Prime Vendor program was designed to prepare the FHCC for a transformation of its logistics processes to the Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support system in October. For patients, it is expected to be a “seamless change” that will improve the efficiency and standardization of the hospital’s supply chain management, said Dr. Robert Buckley, director of the FHCC.

“Lovell is so grateful to get the opportunity to be the first implementation site within the Veterans Health Administration for the Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support system,” Buckley said. “Today, we are here to recognize a huge milestone in our journey to DMLSS implementation.”

On behalf of the Honorable Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams, director of the Defense Logistics Agency said: 

“Today’s initiative marks one opportunity out of many to come with the Department of Veterans Affairs. We are truly taking our relationship to the next level.”